Walking into a craft store can be intimidating. You’re bombarded with a sea of products, and there’s always something new and fabulous. But where do you start? What do you really need? And how do you get the tools you need without going broke? That’s why we’re here today – To help you sort through it all and discover the essentials to equip you on this new card making journey.
A quality paper trimmer is a great place to start and will help you achieve straight lines every time. There are several styles on the market, such as rotary cutters or guillotines. Find a style you’re comfortable with and is within your budget. Your local craft store may have some available to try or can give you recommendations.
CARDSTOCK & PATTERNED PAPER
Cardstock can be used as layers and the card base. Cut a letter sized piece of cardstock in half, and you have two card bases. To save time, you can always purchase pre cut and scored cards.
When it comes to patterned paper, we recommend 6×6 inch paper pads for card makers. They’re affordable, packaged with matching designs and colors, and have smaller images that will be proportionate to card sizes. Hitting up your local craft store you’re sure to see rows of beautiful single sheets of patterned paper as well. These are not a necessity but a great addition to your supply list.
SCORE BOARD OR BONE FOLDER
If you’re planning to create lots of cards, add a score board to your supply list. A score board, or bone folder and ruler, will create a straight crease in your cardstock base. This creates a perfectly folded card. Additionally, the scored line prevents cracking of the paper at the fold. Once comfortable with this basic technique, you can use the board to create boxes, envelopes, and more.
STAMPS & ACRYLIC BLOCKS
Shopping for stamps is just as fun as browsing the rows of patterned paper. We recommend clear or cling stamps that fit onto an acrylic block. Because they’re clear, you can position them easily on your card base or paper. This means straight sentiments and centered designs. Find a few sets in a design you’re drawn to, such as florals, animals, or people. Having a set of sentiments is great too. Look for one with a wide range of encouraging phrases, holidays, and occasions.
Acrylic blocks can be used time and time again. To start, pick up a small and large block. You’ll take a stamp off its plastic backing, add it to the center of the block, stamp, and return the stamp to the package. For this reason, clear stamps are great space savers compared to wood mounted stamps.
There are lots of ink pads on the market, including pigment, chalk, and dye. They come in a wide range of colors too. We recommend getting a black and brown ink to start. VersaFine is a fast drying pigment ink that gives solid, crisp lines. It’s great for watercolor and colored pencils too. Memento is a dye ink that works with Copic markers (a possible addition to your supply list). If you can’t find these specific brands at your local store, look for a permanent dye ink. These will dry fast and not smear.
A large ink pad is not necessary, even with larger stamps such as backgrounds. A quick tip – Place the stamp face up on your table. Take the ink pad in your hand, and add the ink to the stamp. You can tap the ink pad on your stamps as many times as needed to fully cover the image.
Your household scissors will cut paper. However, precision scissors found in the craft department will have you dancing. Many precision scissors can cut through a range of materials such as wire, cork, and chipboard. They also cut paper like butter, making cutting out stamped images a breeze. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
You’ll need something to assemble all of your pieces into a card. A tape runner will allow you to glide on a small amount of permanent adhesive in each corner of your paper piece with ease. Look for a refillable runner. The refills are usually more affordable and come in combo packs.
If you have room in your budget, a fast drying liquid glue is great for smaller paper pieces and embellishments. Scor-Tape comes on a roll and is extremely permanent. It will attach ribbon to cards as well as keep boxes, envelopes, and dimensional paper projects together. Foam squares or pop dots will create layers and add dimension to your pieces. An adhesive remover will do just that – remove any excess glue. As you can see in the picture above, our square gets lots of use. As it gets dirty, you simply cut off that part of the square and can continue using it to remove unwanted adhesive from paper, photos, and more.
It’s easy to get distracted by all the glitter, rhinestones, and ribbon you can add to a card. Having a few pens and markers on hand can be used as embellishments without having to spend a fortune.
Black and white pens can be used to add faux stitching, highlights, and patterns to your card pieces and stamped images. You can add your name to the back of the card, write a message inside, and address the envelope as well. A clear Wink Of Stella glitter pen adds sparkle. These can be used repeatedly and will add a special touch to your creations.
Are you ready to get started? We hope today’s list helps you navigate the world of paper crafting and starts you on your journey. You really only need a few basic supplies to create something, give it away, and spread joy!